Provost and Vice President
for Academic Affairs
Campus Box 24
Milledgeville, Georgia 31061-0490
Gc-orgia'l\ Publk Lihc-ral Arts lJnivcrsit'j
September 21, 2009
Dr. Marci Middleton RECEIVED
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Programs
University System of Georgia Board of Regents SEP 22 2009
270 Washington Street, SW
Atlanta, GA 30334
Dear Dr. Middleton:
Please accept this letter and the enclosed documentation on behalf of Georgia College &
State University as the Letter ofIntent to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a
major in Nursing. This Doctor of Nursing Practice proposal follows the goals the
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) accrediting group as well as other
professional organization and will serve as the entry level program for advanced nursing
practice in the coming years. AACN has set a goal to move all advanced practice
specializations to the doctorate level by 2015. Georgia College & State University's
nursing programs help address the critical need of health care professionals within the
State of Georgia so it is essential that we adjust to meet Georgia's future needs.
Georgia College & State University has a long standing tradition of producing quality
graduates from our Nursing programs. This proposal builds on that tradition and helps
meet three goals of the University System of Georgia Nursing Education Plan
(6/17/2008): #2. Increase the number ofUSG nursing faculty members; #3. Support
voluntary collaboration among USG nursing programs; and #4. Increase the educational
level of the Georgia nursing workforce.
This proposal has the full endorsement of our University Governance and Administration.
The attached documentation helps illustrate the detail associated with this request. I
would like to thank you for your consideration of this request and I will be happy to help
c Dr. Sandra Gangstead
Milledgeville • Macon. Warner Robins
GeoYfJia Colle!7/' &!i'ta/I! UI!iI'i'l"5ir..IJ. i.'>/ublisheu ill 1889.. is GeOJ:qia's PubUr LibemlArL< Uuhmitll.
lJllhl!l"5it!l ~:lJslem ojGl'or,r;iu
GCSU: DNP proposal
Letter of Intent New Program Proposal
Institution: Georgia College & State University Date: June 25, 2009
SchooJlDivision: College of Health Sciences Department: School ofNursing
Name ofProposed Program: Doctor ofNursing Practice
Degree: DNP Major: Nursing CIP Code: 51160801
Starting Date: Summer 2010
Description and Objective of the Degree: Georgia College & State University (GCSU) is intending to develop a Doctor
of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. The 39-41 credit-hour DNP program for master's prepared nurses will be offered
over five consecutive semesters. The program will include 540 clinical practice hours. Over time, the intent is to expand
the program to admit post-baccalaureate registered nurse students. The post-baccalaureate program will include a total of
about 75 credit hours and 1000 clinical hours.
This program will meet the educational needs of prospective nursing students primarily in the central region ofthe
state. This proposal also meets two goals from the University System ofGeorgia Nursing Education Plan (6/17/08): # 2.
Increase the number ofUSG nursing faculty members; and # 4. Increase the educational level ofthe Georgia nursing
Briefly, the American Association of Colleges ofNursing (AACN), an organization that represents more than 600
schools of nursing at public and private universities and senior colleges nationwide (offering a mix ofbaccalaureate,
graduate, and post-graduate programs), is promoting the DNP as the entry level program for nurse practitioners, clinical
nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse-midwives. AACN has set a goal of moving these specialties in nursing to
the doctoral level by 20 IS; that is, nurses who desire to practice as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse
midwives, and nurse anesthetists would enroll in DNP programs.
The AACN proposal does not address other nursing foci, such as nurse educator, nurse administrator, or informatics,
,,,, offered at the master's level; therefore, GCSU would continue to offer master's level programs for nurse educators and
nurse administrators. Given, however, that the family nurse practitioner track at GCSU enrolls more students than any of
the other tracks, it is critical that we consider this push by AACN in evaluating our MSN options.
The DNP curriculum will build on current master's programs by providing education in evidence-based practice,
quality improvement, and systems thinking. The eight essentials of the DNP curriculum are: nursing science,
organizational and systems leadership, the scholarship of application, teclmology, health care policy, collaboration,
population health and prevention, and the advanced practice role.
GCSU has a sound long-standing family nurse practitioner program which is nationally accredited and enjoys high
national certification pass rates for program graduates. Nurse practitioner students complete 630 clinical hours in both
the MSN-FNP program and in the post-master's certificate option for nurses who already have a master's degree in
another area of nursing. The AACN Position Statement identifies the benefits of practice-focused, applied doctoral
programs that will compel student interest:
(a) Development of needed advanced competencies in increasingly complex practice, faculty, and leadership
(b) Enhanced knOWledge to improve nursing practice and patient outcomes;
(c) Enhanced leadership skills to strengthen practice and patient care delivery;
(d) Better match of program requirements and credits and time with the credential earned;
(e) Provision of an advanced educational credential for those who require advanced practice knowledge (e.g., •.:..
practice faculty) but do not need or want a strong research focus; .
(f) Increased supply of faculty for clinical instruction for future students.
The objective ofthis degree (DNP) is to prepare advanced practice nurses at the highest level ofclinical practice. As we
move to a post-baccalaureate DNP program, the graduates will be eligible to sit for national certification exams.
Program fit with institutional mission and nationally accepted trends: As Georgia's designated public liberal arts
university, GCSU offers an educational experience found in exceptional private colleges but at public university prices.
Georgia College helps to keep Georgia's brightest students in the state by providing an engaging academic experience,
and the intimacy and intellectual atmosphere of private liberal arts colleges, but does not abandon the public mandate to
meet the economic workforce needs oftlle state. GCSU's select number of graduate programs offered at the Master's
GCSU: DNP proposal
level is similarly built upon a strong liberal aIts undergraduate preparation and is tied to the market economy of the state.
GCSU's College of Health Sciences has a demonstrated history of commitment in achieving its public mandate to meet
workforce needs of Georgians through the offering of critical need graduate degree programs and post baccalaureate
professional celtification programs.
The proposed program will not require a significant alteration of the institutional mission. Rather, the DNP program,
if approved, would add a unique, select internally-collaborative graduate offering at the University. Within a short period
of transitional time, the proposed DNP program would replace the nationally accredited, high demand Nurse Practitioner
concentration that the GCSU School of Nursing currently offers at its Macon-based Center for Graduate and Professional
Within the University System of Georgia (USG), there are currently II MSN-granting institutions: Albany State
University, Annstrong Atlantic University, Clayton State University, Georgia College & State University, Georgia
Southern University, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Medical College of Georgia, North Georgia
College & State University, University of West Georgia, and Valdosta State University. Eight of these schools provide
MSN programs preparing advanced practice nurses as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and/or nurse
anesthetists, who are eligible for DNP program entry; however, only two DNP programs exist in the state. The Medical
College of Georgia enrolls approximately 15 students/year, currently inclusive of 4 students at their satellite option at
Macon State College. Georgia Southern University announced an enrollment of 10 for its initial class in Fall 2008. In
2015, when the DNP becomes the proposed entry level for advanced practice nurses, the numbers of prospective students
seeking the advanced credential for certification will far outnumber existing enrollment capacities in the state. Two
potential situations will occur at that time: 1) Georgia's advanced practice nurse population will be under-credentialed,
and 2) they will seek educational mobility outside the state or potentially leave practice, relegating Georgia citizens to
fewer advanced care providers at a time that primary care physicians are decreasing in numbers in rural settings. GCSU
is ideally positioned to offer the DNP and assist in ameliorating this healthcare workforce issue on the horizon, given its
strategic regional location and its current ability to offer an exceptionally high quality and robust MSNIFNP program.
Response to demand: The GCSU DNP program will be the first applied doctoral level program at GCSU. This
proposed practice doctoral program strengthens the GCSU mission for educating students at the graduate level to meet
the market economy and workforce needs ofthe state. The blended program (combining one day/week classes with
extensive online instruction) supports the mission by its education of advanced practice nurses in an intellectual
atmosphere and with educational experiences typical of esteemed private schools with the affordability of public higher
education. Further, the DNP program will add another premiere delivery option for the existing strong nursing programs
Data from a needs assessment conducted in Fall 2008 by the GCSU School of Nursing justify the development of the
program. Thirty-seven of 54 respondents indicated an interest in beginning a DNP program within the next five years.
About equal numbers preferred a totally online option (39%) and a blended format (44%).
The proposed program would represent the first DNP program in central Georgia offered from a non-satellite setting.
The initial student enrollment would likely come from GCSU MSN alumni (total n==227). Graduates from other MSN
programs throughout the state might be compelled to enroll because of the proposed course delivery format. After the
BSN-to-DNP option is in operation, graduates of Macon State College, Gordon College, Clayton State College,
LaGrange College, and other BSN programs would be appropriate candidates. In the steady enrollment state, about 15
graduates per year are anticipated from the post-MSN DNP program.
Institutional resources: Resources include budget,-..ft1cilities, and the development and delivery of the curriculum. .~-
Budget: Initially, GCSU School of Nursing will assign one and one-half (1.5) full-time-equivalent (FfE) faculty to the
DNP program, with the instructional load divided according to the courses being offered and the qualifications offaculty.
Funding for support staff and administrators for the program will be in-kind contributions. The Dean of the Library has
been asked to investigate the cost of adding any relevant materials. The GCSU Library already has strong research
resources which support current MSN & post-MSN FNP programs. The librarian at the Medical Center of Central
Georgia (Macon) has expressed an interest in resource collaboration with GCSu. The College of Health Sciences offers
several nationally distinctive and accredited graduate programs (MSN [role development as a nurse
administrator/service, nurse administrator/healthcare informatics, nurse educator, clinical nurse specialist, and family
GCSU: DNP proposal
nurse practitioner]; MEd in Kinesiology [Human Performance, Health Promotion & Outdoor Education], and MMT in
Music Therapy). Each of these programs requires intensive field based or laboratory based research experiences;
including synthesis and formal thesis. The faculty within each program hold terminal degrees and are highly productive
in their scholarship and professional activities.
Facilities: GCSU has adequate facilities for the development and implementation of this program. Additional facilities
for program delivery will not be required. All graduate program options in nursing are scheduled in the GCSU Center
for Graduate and Professional Learning in downtown Macon, Georgia. Any classroom needs could easily be met in that
newly renovated instructional space. There is additional space for course design and online delivery at the campus site in
Milledgeville, Georgia. Clinical experiences will be held in a variety of settings. The School ofNursing at GCSU has
current clinical contracts with 125 healthcare agencies and letters of understanding with many others, including volunteer
clinics in Macon and Greensboro, private physician and nurse practitioner offices, acute and long-term care agencies,
schools of nursing, outpatient treatment and outreach centers, and school health clinics, and a federally funded clinic in
Curriculum and Delivery: Georgia is experiencing an emerging nursing faculty shortage; consequently, our DNP
proposal planners included preparation of potential nursing faculty as a goal of the proposed program. Opportunities for
varied clinical rotations for the 540-hour post-MSN requirements have been provided across courses and include public
and private agencies, many of which serve underserved and ethnic patient populations. A post-baccalaureate DNP
program will include 1000 clinical hours. With regard to research, the academic preparation and predominant focus of
DNP graduates is on the use ofresearch fmdings in making practice decisions. Thus, the development ofDNP programs
wi 11 increase the number of nurses with an appreciation for the importance of research, who can use research in their
practice and in their teaching, and who can provide leadership to others, resulting in policies and practices that are
infonned by the best research evidence possible.
The blended format of the program and opportunities to work with patient populations in or near the students'
hometowns and work settings are features that will compel students to enroll. GCSU has an extensive history obtaining
Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship (AENT) grants to fund
student tuition. This level of funding can be a compelling feature. Existing student services are adequate to support the
DNP program; additional special services will not be needed.
Students enrolled in graduate nursing programs are not consistently viewed as financially underserved because most
are working in clinical positions in nursing settings where salaries are competitive; this is especially true for many of the
prospective students for this program who are in advanced practice positions. Twelve hour shifts, so popular in
contemporary healthcare settings, mal<e attending traditional, face-to-face classes difficult. Hence, this student
population may be considered underserved by usual course schedules. The proposed blended program will benefit this
group of prospective students who can engage in study in synchronous and asynchronous formats to accomplish their
educational goals while continuing to work. This fonnat also will benefit the rural patients currently served by GCSU
students who would otherwise have to leave work early to meet school obligations, substitute part-time employment, or
quit work to obtain the DNP degree.
This program will provide an advanced perspective ofthe rural population and its unique healthcare needs that can
be met by advanced practice nurses with DNP preparation. Given the clinical features of the program, including the
practica and scholarly project opportunities with rural populations in Central Georgia and throughout the state, distinctive
opportunities avail themselves to address health promotion and maintenance among rural patients from the perspectives
of the clinical populations. .." '-
BOARD OF REGENTS OF
THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF GEORGIA
APPLIED DOCTORAL DEGREES
(Submit One Copy with the Letter ofIntent)
Institution: Georgia College & State University
Institutional Contact (president or Vice President for Academic Affairs): Dr. Paul Jones, Interim Provost
Date: July 8, 2009
. SchoolfDivision: College of Health Sciences
Department: School of Nursing
Name of Proposed Program: Doctor of Nursing Practice
. Major: Nursing
Degree Inscription: Doctor ofNursing Practice
CIP Code: 51160801
Anticipated Starting Date: Summer 20 I0
, Program Classification: Applied Doctoral Degree
Applied Doctoral Degrees - Points of Clarification
Please describe how the institution meets each dfthe qualifying principles below:
1. Proposals must clearly demonstrate high and sustained market demand for the professional
There is a current market for the professional degree. The Georgia College & State University School
of Nursing's MSNIFNP program has graduated more than 100 Family Nurse Practitioners in its 13-year
history. All are nationally certified as FNP providers. In 2008, six additional clinical openings were
"Creating A More Eduoated Georgia"
added to the annual FNP student cohort, thereby increasing the anticipated annual number of graduates
by 66%. Eight usa nursing programs offer MSN education for preparing advanced practice nurses as
nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, andlor nurse anesthetists. These graduates would be
eligible for DNP program entry.
Mercer University and the Medical Center of Central Georgia, both in Macon, Georgia, have a
collaborative Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) program. There have been 40 successful
CRNA graduates who are all nationally certified. The CRNA program anticipates increasing enrollment
next year to 20 students annually. All of these graduates and anticipated graduates would be potential
candidates for the DNP program, whose purpose is to provide doctoral level education for practicing
advanced practice nurses.
GCSU conducted a survey in Fall 2008 ofMSN graduates. Eighty-five percent of respondents
expressed interest in the DNP program at GCSU. The majority (n=32) preferred to return for DNP
credentials as soon as 2009-2010.
Survey results are indicative of a robust market for the DNP degree in its initial post-MSN
classification. As a post-baccalaureate option within the next few years, the sustainability of the market
win increase because the program will appeal to numerous graduates of baccalaureate nursing programs
who desire to meet the demand for DNP-prepared APRNs. GCSU is the only public institution ideally
positioned to offer the DNP and assist in ameliorating this healthcare workforce issue on the horizon,
given its strategic regional location in Central Georgia and its current ability to offer an exceptionally
high quality and robust MSNIFNP program at the Center for Graduate and Professional Learning in
2. The proposing institution must clearly demonstrate readiness to implement the degree
program and be prepared to cover all startup costs. Proposals must clearly demonstrate that
the program's infrastructure is sustainable by having available faculty resources and other
GCSU is ready to implement the DNP degree program with existing resources. Onsite graduate courses
are held in the new Center for Graduate and Professional Leaming in downtown Macon, GA. This
state-of-the-art building houses exceptional classroom spaces in addition to computer and clinical labs.
These spaces are more than adequate for any onsite component ofthe DNP program. The School of
Nursing has successfully offered courses online. Currently, the entire RN/BSN program is offered in
that format. Many of the current graduate cour:ies use a "blended" format (courses taught in the
classroom with on-line components). The infrastructure to support the curriculum is already in place
with the ability to offer both synchronous and asynchronous learning enviromnents. GCSU was in the
first cohort ofUSG schools to move to the new VISTA 8 environment.
Initially, the GCSU School ofNursing will assign one and one-half (1.5) FTE to the DNP program,
representing the efforts of several different facuIty, and dividing the instructional load according to the
courses that are offered and the expertise of the faculty. We expect that the program will also require
"Creating A More Educated Georgia"
administrative support equivalent to 1/3 FTE that will be provided from existing administrative staff.
Additions to the library collection should be fundable through the usual GCSU mechanisms.
There are now two approved DNP programs in Georgia; one through the Medical College of Georgia
and the other through Georgia Southern University. Our blended program will target nurses with an
interest in rural health, where many of our MSN graduates now practice.
GCSU has a long history of obtaining HRSA Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship grants to fund
student tuition. This level offunding can be an important factor as students choose a program. Existing
student services are adequate to support online programs; additional special services will not be needed.
Georgia College Nursing Graduate Faculty Members Available to Teach in the DNP Program
Dr. Judith Malachowski, Associate Professor and Director ofthe School ofNursing:
Ph.D. - Nursing, University of Virginia; MPA, MSN- West Virginia University; RN, CNE.
Dr. Cheryl Kish, Professor: Ed.D. - Curriculum & Instruction! Higher Education, University of
Georgia, MSN- Georgia State University; RNC, WHNP-BC, ONN.
Dr. Susan Steele, Assistant Professor: Ph.D.- Nursing, University of South Florida, MSN
University of South Florida; RN, CWOCN.
Mrs. Jeanne Sewell, Assistant Professor: Post-Masters Certificate - Duke University, MSN
University ofMaryland; RN.
Dr. Flor Culpa-Bondal, Assistant Professor: Ph.D.- Nursing, Texas Woman's University, MSN
Georgia College & State University; RN, APRN, CSIPMH.
Dr. Carol Dean Baker, Assistant Professor: Ph.D.- Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,
MSN - Georgia College & State University; RN
Dr. Kendra Russell, Associate Professor & Assistant Director, School of Nursing: Ph.D.- Georgia
State University, MSN - Georgia College & State University; RN.
Dr. Martha Colvin, Professor & Associate Dean, College ofHealth Sciences: Ph.D.-Educational
Leadership, University of Mississippi, MSN - University of Southem Mississippi; RN, CSIPMH.
Courses in the DNP program that may be taught by College of Health Sciences/GCSU Graduate
• Epidemiology and Biostatistics
• Healthcare Finance
• Biomedical Ethics ..:..
CoBS faculty who may contribute their expertise to the above courses include:
Dr. Chris Black, Assistant Professor: Ph.D. , Post Doctoral Studies & M.A.- Exercise Physiology,
Dr. Scott Butler, Assistant Professor: Ph.D., - Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, Purdue
University, M.P.H.-Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, M.S.- Applied Health
Sciences, Indiana University.
"Creating A More Educated Georgia"
Dr. Barbara Funke, Professor: Ph.D. - Health Education! Women's Health, Pennsylvania State
University, M.S. - Health Education, East Stroudsburg University.
Dr. Michael Martino, Associate Professor: Ph.D. & M.A.• Exercise Physiology, University of
3. The proposed doctoral degree curriculum must be of high quality, including a significant
requirement for independent, original research.
The proposed doctoral degree curriculum will be of high quality. There will be in place a significant
requirement throughout their coursework and clinical field work for the students to engage in independent,
original, applied research. Careful attention in program marketing will be given to infonning prospective
students ofthe differences in the traditional PhD program and the DNP program, especially with regard to
research preparation and prospective faculty roles after graduation.
School of Nursing faculty, with input from doctorally-prepared educators and APRNs at another state
university, developed a template for the DNP curriculum. Consistent with accreditation requirements, the
curriculum was developed using national guidelines, specifically the following, to discover best practices:
• The Essentials 0/Master's Education for Advanced Practice Nursing (AACN, 2008)
• The Essentials 0/Doctoral Education/or AdvancedPractice Nursing (AACN, 2006)
• NLNAC Standards and Criteria: Clfnical Doctorate (NLNAC, 2008)
• DNP Roadmap Task Force Report (AACN, 2006)
..... • Practice Doctorate NP Competencies (NONPF,2008)
The Exemplar Curriculwn Templates developed by NONPF (National Organization of Nurse Practitioner
Faculties) also served as a basis for the framework from which to develop the curriculum. The curriculum
is inclusive of the theoretical foundations established nationally: role transition; health care systems,
organizational behavior, and change; epidemiology and biostatistics for population health; evidenced based
practice and practice inquiry; health care policy; healthcare finance and economics; ethics; informatics;
'technology; and leadership in health delivery. Additionally there are two distinct courses in clinical
scholarship and methods for evidence based practice (research) that includes both quantitative and
qualitative research paradigms. There v.rill be a culminating clinical project that includes both a written
scholarly paper and presentation. The applied research will be under the guidance ofthe DNP student's
graduate advisory committee.
Two distinctions will be available in the proposed program curriculum: (1) elective courses will be offered
to those students who wish to prepare for nursing faculty roles and (2) an extensive conceptual basis for
rural nursing and the distinctive opportunities for DNP graduates to affect rural healthcare will be integrated
throughout the program. The framework for appro~ching rural health popUlations will be based in part on
the Montana State University Rural Nursing Model [ http://www.montana.edu/wwwnuJacademic/mn.htm ]
Clinical practica and scholarly project courses will provide students with opportunities to engage in
healthcare practice and research with rural populations throughout Georgia.
The proposed curriculum meets requirements for national accreditation ofDNP programs through the
National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and/or the Commission on Collegiate
.Nursing Education (CCNE). The initial post-MSN curriculum consists of 39-41 credit hours, depending on
"Creatfng A More Educated Georgia"
student choice of elective coursework. The blended program fonnat (using Web VISTA for the online
portion) extends over five semesters and includes didactic courses to meet all ofthe nationally specified
DNP competencies, as well as 540 supervised clinical practice hours to meet national standards. The
clinical practice to credit hour ratio will be 4:1. To increase the numbers of clinicians who can potentially
serve as qualified nursing faculty in this time of acute shortage, electives wi II be provided in nursing
education content. Students may elect either full-time or parHime study.
GCSU currently has practice arrangements with nursing faculty actively involved in clinical practice as well
as select teaching opportwUties for clinicians. Both ofthese arrangements strengthen the link with the
practice environment so necessary for successful DNP programs and provide expert clinicians to serve as
preceptors. GCSU has a nurse-practitioner managed health service on its University campus where best
clinical practices may be explored. GCSU has affiliations with volunteer clinics where underserved rural
populations receive care. GCSU affiliates extensively with the Medical Center of Central Georgia, a Magnet
facility, and enjoys a relationship with the faculty at the Mercer Medical School who share standardized
patient resources with our current graduate students.
4. A program may not be proposed if there is a cost-effective and high-quality alternative delivery
approach that could be offered through a proximate institutional partnership andlor hosting
There are cWTently two approved DNP programs available in Georgia. The program at the Medical College
of Georgia is available at multiple sites and uses a primarily distance learning fonnat. The second program
is at Georgia Southern and is in an online fonnat. Currently there are no DNP programs originating from
our Central Georgia location. This proposal addresses cross-disciplinary education with involvement from
other departments on the GCSU campus. GCSU has a long history of a quality MSN program. By building
.on the strengths within the College of Health Sciences (CoHS), the proposed DNP program will provide a
very cost-effective delivery approach to nursing education by utilizing CoBS faculty and delivering the
program at our own facility in Macon. No extra costs are anticipated for travel or development of additional
5. The institution must demonstrate a history of success in delivering undergraduate andlor master's
degrees .in the discipline(s) of the proposed doctorate.
Georgia College & State University has been delivering high quality BSN education since 1973 to both
generic and post-licensure students who sought edl,lcational mobility after completing a hospital-based
diploma program or an associate degree progr~ in nursing. The majority of graduates were licensed to
practice nursing within six months after graduation and the majority of those graduates continue to practice.
The Georgia Board of Nursing reports a 92% pass-rate for GCSU first time writers on the National Council
Licensing Examination - RN (NCLEX-RN) for 2002 through 2007.
MSN program delivery began at GCSU in 1996 with several specialties. Over time, the FNP, adult health,
and nursing administration program options continue with post-MSN options in healthcare informatics (a
"Creating A Mora Educated Georgia"
sub-specialty of nursing administration), nursing education (a sub-specialty of adult health), and the FNP
program. Only the FNP graduates are considered advanced practice nurses for specialty licensure through
the Georgia Board of Nursing. Of that group, all are nationally certified with a historic certification pass
rate of98% and a pass rate of 100% for the last six years. Both BSN and MSN programs are accredited by
the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, demonstrating program quality.
GCSU also has a successful history with online program delivery. For example J. Whitney Bunting College
ofBusiness continues to participate in the state's online MBA program. The School of Nursing offers select
graduate-level nursing informatics courses online and an entire RN-BSN option totally online. The School
ofNursing received significant ICAPP funding for three years to develop and deliver a post-MSN nursing
·education certificate program online. This option added 15 qualified educators to central Georgia nursing
programs as full-time faculty.
A majority of both baccalaureate and graduate nursing courses require web-based engagement by students.
All nursing faculty who teach courses in online format have completed online course training, including
supplemental coursework with the recent addition of VISTA 8 format. The systematic program evaluation
for the School of Nursing incorporates the NLNAC's criteria for assuring quality online courses in the
annual program evaluation as does the Southern Regional Education Board's Criteria for Evaluating Online
· Courses. The University's Center for Teaching & Learning offers faculty development which includes
considerable attention to innovative instruction and measures for outcome assessment for both traditional
and online courses.
6. Tbe institution must demonstrate that establishment of the program will not diminish its
commitment to existing undergraduate and master's degree programs offered.
·The proposed DNP program will not diminish the commitment ofGCSU to its existing BSN program or its
MSN program. Our proposal focuses on the DNP initially as a post-master's program option; therefore,
students in the first cohorts already will have a master's degree in nursing. The intent is to transition the
program to a post-BSN program by 2015. This date coincides with the call by the American Association of
Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to credential advanced practice nurses at the doctoral level. Students, who
then want to work as nurse practitioners, and possibly as clinical nurse specialists, would enter into DNP
programs. Georgia College would maintain its other MSN focuses: nurse educator, nurse
administration/service role, and nurse administrationlhealthcare informatics role.
If Board of Regents' approval is given, the waiver will be time-limited: A sunset provision will be imposed,
and a program cancelled, if appropriate success fsO:not demonstrated by an established deadline.
Source: Final Report ofthe Committee on Professional/Applied Doctorate Degrees (Draft 5)
"Creating A More Educated Georgia"